Revisiting some goals…and setting some more (i.e how I cracked the sub 21 5k)

I like having goals. Even if I pretend I don’t have one for an event, I always do, tucked away in the back of my mind – what do I need to get for me to be happy.

So let’s go back to what I said at the start of the year in our 2015 goals post – as I’ve now got something to say about each of them.

#1 3:29:xx at the London marathon.

Well, let’s just say this didn’t happen, however, it’s not something I’m upset about. Some fairly significant weeks off at a very bad time with a dodgy Achilles meant that for a while I wasn’t even sure if I could make it to the stand line. I rocked it round in 3.33.24 (read about it here if you are so inclined) and I’m super happy about a new PB, a VLM AND a Boston 2016 qualifier…so watch this space. I’m still not sure whether next year is a ‘go for broke in the marathon’ or ‘fancy trying to AG qualify for duathlon for the Europeans’ so we shall see what happens, but my marathon game is NOT over yet. 

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Review: Run or Dye – The World’s Most Colourful 5k!

We’re on a bit of a review rampage this week, here’s another one for you folks! This time it’s all to do with fun, fitness and flinging paint…

When we were emailed by the lovely people at Run or Dye to ask if we would like to run their crazy, paint-filled 5k in North London last week, we jumped at the chance! Given I’m not much of a runner at all, I was surprised that that was my reaction, but the thought of prancing around a 5k course to some bangin’ tunes whilst hurling powdered paint at K-Ferg just sounded like good, clean (or not so clean) fun, and a great way to kick-start my half-marathon training. So off we trotted to Cockfosters on a breezy but dry Saturday morning to join the throngs of other runners for some fun!

We were treated on arrival to some face-painting to get us in the party mood – courtesy of the ladies at Artyful, who had come to support the event – it certainly worked! Then we changed into our very own Run or Dye T-shirts; just by entering the race, every runner is given a free t-shirt, a wristband, some snazzy transfer tattoos and some powdered paint to get messy!Pre-Race painted faces

Soon enough it was time to get going. As we took our place at the starting hold, we were struck by the variety of people who were in attendance – from those who were there to try and knock a few seconds off their PB, to whole families including small children in buggies or being carried on shoulders – Run or Dye really is for everyone! We loved the fact that the staggered start was not done by predicted finish times. There is no elitism here, it’s truly inclusive and has a great family, party atmosphere as a result. The tunes were blaring (Katie did a lot of singing to Taylor Swift… gutted I didn’t manage to catch it on video), and as we waited to reach the start line the DJ almost caused a riot (I’m obviously massively exaggerating, but people did get very excited…) as he threw free gifts of sunglasses, tutus and packets of paint into the crowd, and then we were off!

The course was set out around some parkland, taking us over fields, pavements, mud tracks, through woodland and most importantly through the ‘Colour Zones’ where paint is hurled at you by some very enthusiastic volunteers! It was pretty windy on the day, so the paint had a tendency to just float away rather than stick to the t-shirts, but just running through a big blue cloud full of squealing people was good fun in and of itself.

Katie paint selfie

We made it to the end with big old grins on our faces, and a fair bit of paint in our mouths (it’s not the best tasting, but it’s totally harmless, and frankly you’re having so much fun you barely care!). I was so pleased to have actually run it without dying, but I was so distracted by the music, cheering and paint, I barely had time to think about the actual running. Runners, joggers and walkers alike, cheered each other on as we went, and there was plenty of support from the side-lines too.

Post-run paint

To top it off, you finish with a party – hooray! The DJ gets spinning and everyone bops away in a final flourish of a paint-throwing bonanza!

paint party time

For anyone who wants to run their first 5k in a fun and friendly way, this really is the race for you – and for all you seasoned runners, RoD is a fun morning out, and something a bit different to do with your Saturday, for £25 we think it’s a bit of a bargain!

More upcoming events from Run or Dye:

30 May – Exeter, Great Fulford
6 June – Liverpool, Aintree Racecourse
27 June – Cheshire, Cholmondeley Castle
5 July – Kent, Penshurst Place
11 July – Bournemouth, Kings Park
18 July – Perth, Scone Palace
25 July – Ipswich, Chantry Park
1 August – North Yorkshire, Castle Howard
5 September – Paris, l’Hippodrome de Chantilly
12 September – Galway, Ireland, Lough Cutra Castle
26 September – Oxford, Cornbury Park
3 October – South London, Hever Castle
10 October – Derbyshire, Chatsworth House
18 October – Edinburgh, Hopetoun House